has named Tom Verbanic, the current baseball head coach and director of athletic operations, as head coach of the football program for the 2012 season.
Last season, in which the Huskies notched a 7-3 record and second place in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC), Verbanic was a defensive coordinator under nine-year veteran Michael Wright, who restarted the program at the Oakton private school in 2003.
"It's a big surprise. I was looking forward to Coach Wright coming back because we're really close. I've known Coach Wright for longer than four years," said Jerrod Reed, a rising senior fullback and linebacker for the Huskies. "He was fun and allowed us to joke around, but when it was time to be serious, he was serious. But I'm excited for Coach Verbanic, too."
Wright led the Huskies to four MAC Championships, four appearances in the Virginia State Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) semifinals, and earned second place in VISAA in 2008. Wright will continue in his role as assistant director of admission at the private school.
Wright hasn't provided a statement about his departure.
Verbanic, who came to Flint Hill in 2010, served as head coach of the Westfield High football program for its first 10 years of existence and led them to a record of 100-28 for six district titles, two regional titles and two state championships. Prior to Westfield, he spent 21 years coaching both baseball and football at the high school level.
"I still have a passion for coaching and I've always said that as long as I'm still having fun and feel like I'm doing right by kids then why would I stop doing it?" Verbanic, 54, told the Washington Post. "I truly, really enjoy it. I like high school kids. I don't want to go into college and go on the road recruiting and things like that."
Reed, 18, expects Verbanic will bring continued success to the football program and personally hopes to see the team reach the state playoffs and advance past Liberty Christian, as well as defeat rival Potomac School in the regular season. As a member of the defense, Reed worked closely with Verbanic last season and already knows his coaching style well.
"I expect us to practice hard, play hard, still gel as a team, but probably go harder than we used to do," Reed said. "We have summer workouts and everyone knows what he expects, so people should know how hard he'll be on us."
Flint Hill School has made other changes to its varsity coaching staff for the 2012-13 academic year: Stephanie Hulke, who served as assistant coach last year, will take the helm of the girls soccer team; Justin Fitzgerald, who led Robinson boys lacrosse to two state titles and most recently coached boys lacrosse at Bishop O'Connell, has been named head coach of the girls lacrosse team.
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